Monday, March 12, 2012
There was very little showmanship when András Schiff walked out onto the stage in the Santa Cecilia Hall – standing almost discreetly beside the piano for a brief bow, he then sat quickly at the keyboard, and without further ado, started to play. It was then that the magic began. Schiff is without doubt an enthralling Bach performer of exquisite elegant – I've never listened so keenly to the left hand part during any piano recital. And what an extraordinarily generous performer – after a tour de force of focus and stamina, in which he played not only the entire French Suites, but also the Overture in the French style, thundering applause from the audience at the concert's close brought him back on stage for an encore. Sounding as fresh and spontaneous as if he had just begun the recital, Schiff then proceeded to play the Italian Concerto, taking everyone by delighted surprise when he hushed initial applause at the end of the first movement and played the concerto in its entirety. Outstanding!
The Six French Suites, BWV 812-817
Overture in the French style, BWV 831
The Italian Concerto, BWV 971